Match Preview: Redland vs Canberra


Mitch Hardie gets a handball away. Photo: Highflyer Images.


NEAFL ROUND 9


Saturday, June 2, 2018


Canberra Demons (5th) v Redland Bombers (10th) at Scottsdale Park

*Live Champion Data statistics available on the Official NEAFL App.


SUMMARY


Canberra have the opportunity to climb back inside the competition’s top four in Round 9 as the Demons travel to Scottsdale Park for the second time this season to face a Redland side unable to rectify a horrid opening stretch in the 2018 season.


The Demons are one of five teams sandwiched in the middle of the Tribal Sport NEAFL ladder with three wins, but trail just Sydney – who have won three games in a row, on percentage. A win against the Bombers this weekend and a loss for the Swans – who face an undefeated Sydney University side – would catapult Canberra to fourth spot in the standings.


2018 has been a dream run for the Demons who enter genuine finals calculations for the first time in their short history. Their best win of the season came against the Bombers in Round 3, which transversely became the lowest point of Redland’s season to date.


Redland find themselves stranded at the bottom of the ladder after the previous weekend’s loss to the GIANTS in Sydney’s west. The Bombers have struggled immensely in 2018 yet still, they find themselves two wins away from finals contention. Any chance of returning to the finals for the first time in three seasons could begin, or end, at home this Saturday.

*Full teams announced Friday morning.


RECENT ENCOUNTERS


Round 3, 2018: Redland 9.10 (64) def. by Canberra 22.15 (147) at Scottsdale Park. Round 8, 2017: Redland 8.14 (62) def .by Canberra 10.13 (73) at Scottsdale Park. Round 1, 2017: Canberra 16.7 (102) def Redland 12.10 (82) at Allinsure Park.


TALKING POINTS


1. The Leigh Harding era Bombers have struggled throughout the opening stretch of the year in both of his seasons at the helm of the club. From the 14 games Redland have played across Rounds 1-8 in each of the past two years, the Bombers have won just two games in total; conceding over 500 points more to their opposition in the stretch. Now, in the middle portion of the season, Redland simply need to improve.


2. The Bombers will be without lively small forward Matt Thomson for the game after the NEAFL game’s record holder was injured in Round 8 and failed to see through the match with the GIANTS. Redland coach Leigh Harding told neafl.com.au after the GIANTS game that Thomson is pivotal in transitioning the ball between the arcs, and his loss could loom as a potential roadblock for Redland.


3. Canberra have been among the competition’s most potent scoring sides this year as one of four sides to muster over 160 scores this year. That being said, the Demons are one of just two sides in the competition, along with Gold Coast, who ranks last for scores produced, not to posses a player who has kicked double digit goals this year. Instead, Canberra has relied on a bevy of players to hit the scoreboard. In total, 21 Demons have found kicked a goal this year compared to just 14 Bombers who have accomplished the same.


ROOKIE WATCH


Sam Copland produced his best performance in Redland colours in last week’s loss to the Giants, kicking a team high three goals. His performance yielded a season high 84.5 Champion Data ranking points and the former Brisbane Lions Academy member continues to grow in his role with the side. Copland has shown a knack for finding the goals, kicking five majors a fortnight ago for QAFL outfit Western Magpies and could assume greater responsibility for Redland inside 50 with Thomson ruled out.


STATS THAT MATTER


In just over three seasons in the NEAFL competition, Canberra haven’t enjoyed the most success in the win columns. Since the beginning of the 2016 season, the Demons have produced just 13 wins from their 42 appearances; a win league win rate of 30.95 per cent. However, Canberra hold a winning record over just two teams in the competition, firstly against the GIANTS, but also over Redland where they have won four of the six contests between the two teams.


PREDICTION


Canberra by 25 points.


Article courtesy of NEAFL Media.

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